Poland’s foreign minister said that Europe is at the risk of plunging into a war with Russia.
Diplomatic talks between western world powers and Russia about the ongoing Ukraine crisis worsened on Thursday after the third and final of the marathon talks.
This week there were three talks with Russia. The first was held in Geneva between the U.S. and Russia. The second was a meeting of the Nato-Russia Council, which was the first time the two sides had come together in two years. The third and final was a session of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, held in Vienna.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said that they were not yet giving up on diplomacy. However, military experts are already preparing options in case the tensions with Russia rise even further over Ukraine.
Russia has already amassed some 100,000 troops at its border with Ukraine, prompting Ukraine and western countries to fear a potential invasion. The White House said that the treat of an invasion into Ukraine was high. With no more days set for diplomatic talks, the U.S. is expected to meet among allies and partners to discuss the potential plans if Russia were to invade.
U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter, said the drumbeat of war is sounding.
Russia has said that the dialogue is continuing, but that it had hit a dead end trying to persuade the West. Russia wants Nato to bar the Ukraine from joining the alliance. In addition, it wants Nato to roll back expansion in Europe. The U.S. said these issues were “non-starters.”
Russian Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich said that at this stage it was “really disappointing.” He warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the sides could not agree, and declared that the issues were “security red lines.”
Lukashevich said though that Russia had not yet given up on diplomacy, and wanted to speed the process up a bit.